Exactly a month ago, we were the first to tell you that there’s a big war brewing between Bollywood musicians and record labels.
Actor Abhay Deol has now opened a full-fledged "battle" against music companies for arm-twisting him for his first production, One by Two.
His first attack has been to wear war paint — quite literally — on his face by sporting a black-and-blue eye.
"So last night I went to the Screen Awards sporting a black eye. It was my way of saying visually (and symbolically) that my film’s marketing has taken a hit (from music labels)," posted the 37-year-old actor on Facebook on Tuesday, blaming a leading music company, T-Series, responsible for the delay of his film’s music release and pulling out all trailers and promos of the film just as its release (on Jan 31) nears.
"My friends, I just did the unthinkable. I took on the giant record label of the music industry,” he wrote.
When we asked him for details, he said, "T-series has asked me to get the signatures of musicians on contracts which are illegal, and forbid them from claiming ownership or royalty for the songs. Why should I get these contracts signed?" said Abhay.
"We are all following the rules laid down by the copyright law and refuse to sign contracts that go against it," said Ehsaan Noorani of the Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy trio, the music composers of the film.
Singer Sonu Nigam, who has been a crusader of the cause, said, "It’s a very encouraging step taken by Abhay and I think it’s high time other film producers, too, came forward."
However, Bhushan Kumar, who heads T-series, denied the allegations. "It’s not true, as Viacom 18 is the producer. I have not interacted with Abhay Deol on this. Three songs from the film have already released, and these days, we launch all albums one song at a time, so there are no issues."
The co-producers, Viacom, refused to comment.
Meanwhile, other music label firms, too, went on the defensive.
Kumar Taurani of Tips said, "It’s wrong if music companies are being blamed, because the money that we get is just 5% of the total money spent on filmmaking."
Singers, composers support Abhay Deol
Sonu Nigam: Abhay wearing a bruise on his eye, claiming hit by a music company ... wowww (sic): Sonu Nigam (It’s a very encouraging step by Abhay. It’s time other producers also came forward
Shreya Ghoshal: You rock!!:
Sunidhi Chauhan: Moved to see your reaction on this issue! Sher Singh this man is! Hats Off to you Mr. Abhay Deol!!! I’m speechless at your stand. RESPECT. Always (sic)
Alisha Chenoy: Boycott the Music Mafia!!!
Mahalakshmi Iyer: Abhay Deol ... Respect. As a young producer you have shown guts and gumption
Vishal Dadlani: I sincerely hope more producers will support him as will all other actors and musicians. It’s wonderful that Abhay has seen this dispute from the artists’ point of view
Abhay Deol in a candid shot.